How ‘champagne socialist’ Gary Neville has raked in £70m while using his platform as TV pundit to lecture on workers’ rights (but not all the staff at his own Manchester hotel are happy)
- Gary Neville joined Labour party earlier this year and is a outspoken Tory critic
- He likened treatment of nurses to Qatari regime’s approach to migrant workers
- Online reviews by staff at his Hotel Football make complaints about conditions
- One said: ‘If you love being overworked and underappreciated you’ve found you calling’
- When he was a player he was part of a group of stars accused of avoiding tax
Gary Neville has made £70million from football and up to 60 business interests but some staff at his Manchester hotel claimed that they were overworked, underpaid, underappreciated and ‘not treated equally’ by ‘difficult management’, MailOnline can reveal today.
The millionaire, 47, a member of the Labour party, lectured millions watching the World Cup Final about workers’ rights and compared the treatment of NHS staff to the migrant workers who built the stadiums in Qatar, where up to 6,500 died in 11 years.
But while using his platform on TV to present himself as a people’s champion, online comments from some of Mr Neville’s past and present employees suggest he may need to improve working conditions for his own staff.
One former worker at his Hotel Football said: ‘If you love being overworked and underappreciated then you’ve found you calling’, adding: ‘Management only interested in turning a profit and don’t really care how they achieve this’.
Another waitress said it was an ‘unfair’ place to work, adding: ‘I didn’t feel welcome in the team and management was not treating everybody equally’. She said there were no positives about working there.
Rishi Sunak has already hit back at former England footballer Neville over claims workers in the UK were being exploited.
Gary Neville denies he is a champagne socialist and spoke out about workers’ rights. MailOnline can reveal that some of his own staff have felt badly treated over pay, overtime and equality
This former waitress at Hotel Football, owned by Gary Neville, described being treated unequally by bosses on a one star Glassdoor review
On Indeed, some workers said that it was a bad place to work where staff are ‘overworked and underappreciated’
Rishi Sunak today told Gary Neville to stick to football because ITV viewers didn’t tune in to the World Cup final to hear him lecture on politics – as Ofcom considers an investigation after receiving complaints about the Labour supporting ex-footballer.
Neville triggered outrage yesterday when he used ITV’s World Cup final coverage to liken the government’s treatment of nurses to the Qatari regime’s approach to migrant workers, many of whom died building the tournament’s stadiums.
Neville, 47, claimed the conditions for striking nurses and railway workers in the UK were like those faced by Qatar’s huge foreign labour force. Up to 6,500 migrant workers perished in the 11 years the Gulf state spent preparing for the World Cup.
But the Prime Minister today defended the Government’s record. He said: ‘I think when most people are tuning in to watch Gary Neville they want to hear about the football and watch the football. They don’t want to discuss politics.’
Ofcom told MailOnline that it has received complaints from viewers. A spokesman said: ‘We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.’
Mr Neville told ITV viewers: ‘We should detest low pay, we should detest poor accommodation and working conditions. We can’t have people being paid an absolute pittance to work. It shouldn’t happen here [in Qatar]. But it shouldn’t happen with the nurses in our country either where our nurses are having to fight for an extra pound or two pounds’.
Today he laughed off claims he is the ‘definition of a Champagne socialist’ and refused to apologise.
Several people who worked at Mr Neville’s Hotel Football in Manchester criticise working conditions at Mr Neville’s flagship business also owned by Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville.
Earlier this month a waitress at the Old Trafford hotel vented her anger on the Glassdoor website – an online forum where former employees anonymously review companies and reveal their pay. She said in her two-star review of the business that the cons of the job were the pay, long hours, difficult management and no progression.
In 2019, a ‘current employee’ on the Indeed website declared: ‘If you love being overworked and underappreciated then you’ve found you calling’.
‘Typically understaffed and overworked. Training is non existent. Always work over my contracted hours and never get overtime pay, I was told to take time in lieu but that’s impossible when they are no staff to cover that’, they said.
In another review entitled: ‘Amateurs and greedy’, an anonymous worker wrote: ‘Senior management is more concerned about cutting costs rather than generating money, providing a good service and good working conditions. Not a good employer’.
Hotel Football’s overall rating is 3.6 out of 5. And has some positive reviews. Several workers praised ‘good hourly pay’ and ‘flexible hours’.
Manchester United, which is across the road, has a rating of 4.2. MailOnline has asked Hotel Football to comment.
Neville is a Labour supporter but has long dismissed suggestions that he was a ‘woke Leftie’ and described himself as ‘a capitalist’ and ‘entrepreneurial businessman who likes to make a profit’.
Gary Neville owns Hotel Football with Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville
Gary Neville ranted about strikes and workers’ conditions in the UK while appearing as a pundit on ITV before the World Cup final in Qatar
Reports from last year indicated that his financial assets totalled £70 million. Records from Companies House show that he has been involved with 60 businesses.
According to his LinkedIn profile, the Salford City FC co-owner is ‘currently working on St Michael’s, a £200 million development project in Manchester city centre’.
BBC pundit: Gary Neville was WRONG to bring his politics to the World Cup final
Gary Neville was wrong to give his opinion on workers’ rights during the World Cup final, according to a former colleague.
Asked if Neville should have expressed his political views, former England footballer Danny Mills told GB News: ‘I don’t think so.
‘You have a platform as a pundit, as a person on telly, you clearly have opinions, but there are people better read, better versed to understand all the situations in this.
‘We saw it at the start of the World Cup with the BBC not showing the opening ceremony on the main channel. And then a bit of a monologue from Gary Lineker.
‘It’s okay to have opinions, but if you want to do that, do it on your own social media channels because I think you have more influence.
‘When you start getting into mixing politics right across the board, I think it’s very, very dangerous.’
He has been investing in property after the economic crash in 2008, and his business interests have included hotels, restaurants, film production and eco schemes.
But there have also been claims of hypocrisy over his taxes.
In 2004 the Observer named Mr Neville, David Beckham, Sol Campbell, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Joe Cole and Nicky Butt as stars who were avoiding tax on cash from TV advertising.
In 2006 the same newspaper described him as ‘England’s rather unglamorous right-back’ with £559,000 of assets in his private firm, Tiger Sports Management.
Tax experts claimed that this allowed footballers to ensure their image rights payments were made to a company rather than them directly. This allowed them to be subject to corporation tax levied at between 21% and 28%, rather than subject to income tax, which was 40% then.
At the time Chancellor Gordon Brown was asked to close the loophole that allowed the England players to legally avoid tax.
And in 2010 he was among 20 top players written to by HMRC over the tax arrangements linked to image rights, according to The Times, amid claims the loophole allowed players to avoid paying an estimated £100million-a-year in tax.
The letters advised the players that their affairs were being investigated and that they might need to hand over copies of accounts, contracts, receipts and other documents to HMRC. It is not clear if Mr Neville or Manchester United were obliged to pay any extra tax.
MailOnline asked Mr Neville’s agent to comment – including on the outcome of the HMRC investigation.
There have also been other scrapes since Mr Neville left professional football and moved into business, setting up hospitality businesses. He owns the 133 room Hotel Football in Manchester, close to Old Trafford. He has also developed commercial properties and homes in the north-west.
In 2017 it emerged that he been secretly buying property and developing it under other names, claiming it was easier to get planning permissions.
In an interview in the latest edition of the British Airways in-flight magazine Business Life, he said he secretly bought four buildings in Manchester in this way.
He said: ‘It’s quite interesting that when I buy under a different company name or request planning permission under a different name actually the planning permissions don’t tend to attract the same sort of attention’.
In 2019 he was linked to a firm accused of mis-selling timeshares to British holidaymakers.
The finance watchdog began investigating after £47million in loans were given to Brits looking to buy timeshares in Malta that were part-owned by Neville.
Mr Neville with Labour Party Shadow Culture Secretary Lucy Powell at the annual Labour Party conference in Liverpool in September
Former England footballer Gary Neville (left) was linked to a firm accused of mis-selling timeshares to British holidaymakers. Customers were told other ‘United players’, including Ryan Giggs (right) part-owned the properties they were investing in
Customers claim they were told ‘United players’, including Ryan Giggs owned the properties they were investing in and given loans from Barclays to repay the money.
But the loans were brokered without the conditions being made clear and without the ‘proper credit checks’, a hearing of the Upper Tribunal of the Tax and Chancery Chamber was told.
Neville became a non-executive director of a company called Island Hotels Group Holdings in 2009 after he and Giggs invested 1.1million euros each in the company.
He bought a property on the island in 2000 after ‘falling in love with it’ and was appointed an ambassador for Maltese tourism the year after.
He told The Times of Malta: ‘It is an honour to be connected so closely with Malta. Malta is very close to the heart.
‘Malta has wonderful hotels and restaurants. I have seen drastic differences in 15 years during which the island has attracted different types of visitors.
The service here is improving and I believe there are great things ahead for Malta.’
That group Neville was involved in owned 50 per cent of the Golden Sands resort and 50 per cent of another company called Azure Services Limited, which marketed the timeshares.
He resigned from the Island Hotels role in 2015 as it prepared to be taken over by another Maltese firm.
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